Last month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis surprised almost everyone by announcing that real U.S. GDP increased in the first quarter of 2014 by just 0.1%, virtually nothing. When the Commerce Department then announced a higher-than-expected U.S. trade deficit, several Wall Street firms revised their forecasts for final first-quarter GDP to negative – in other words, the potential start of a recession.

Yet, the U.S. stock market was near an all-time high. Blaming the first-quarter disappointment on harsh winter weather, leading economist were near-unanimous in predicting a strong rebound in the second half of 2014. The Federal Reserve chairwoman and financial media remained upbeat.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.